Album Talkthrough: "Routes" by Stylusboy

14th November 2019 //

Hey everyone!

Well hello there, today we actually have a brand new feature on HITS.

Online that is, we got to premiere our album talkthrough segment in our print issue - so if you'd like to check that out, you can get a copy here. (We only have a handful left, so be quick.)

The title probably gives it away, but in this feature we invite artists to talk us through each track on their album to learn a few more things about the songs as we fall in love with them.

We are excited to see it become a regular feature here and of course would love your feedback.

- Album Talkthrough -
"Routes" by Stylusboy

Stylusboy is the moniker Steve Jones from Coventry, UK uses to release indie folk tracks.

The singer/songwriter has been releasing music since 2009 and has built a loyal fanbase over the years. With support from BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music, Stylusboy has made himself a well respected name.

Influenced by the greats such as Damien Rice, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, Neil Young and more, you'll find songs about love, loss and all things life. 

Having gigged all over the UK, including sold out shows and support sets for acts such as Newton Faulkner, John Smith, Lucy Ward and more, Stylusboy shows that he's an adaptable live performer who is comfortable at festivals, at house gigs, all sorts of venues and even a pro at playing online gigs.

Between the release of his debut album, "Hospitality for Hope" in 2015 and now, Steve has released multiple EPs and a live album.

On September 27th of 2019 Stylus released his new album, "Routes", via his own label Tortoise Records.

Steve kindly took the time to chat us each track on the album, 
here's what he had to say:

"I guess the best place to start when talking about my second album Routes is about the vision I had for it.
Since my first album, "Hospitality for Hope", my influences and style has changed and developed from a English folk-ish sound to more of a singer songwriter Americana style sound. I was listening to people like John Paul white, Jason Isabel and The Lone Bellow all of whom are American and have a more full band sound.

I wanted this album to have a different feel to my first one, more stripped back but also more full sounding.
It took me quite a long time to get the songs where I felt they were ready to record but I didn’t want to rush this process. The drums and double bass parts were recorded live in a gorgeous studio called Canvas Music on a farm just outside Birmingham by a wonderful engineer called David Plumb.
My old friend Tim Bowes played the drums and one of the busiest musicians I know John Parker played the double bass. These guys have added so much colour to the album and I’m so grateful to them.
All the guitars and vocals were recorded in my home studio The Truffle Room which is where I do a lot of writing and recording. Holly Hewitt, a wonderful blues singer local to me, kindly agreed to add harmonies to my songs and I love what she has created."

"Embrace The View":
"I was really keen to have this as the opening song and I worked for a long time deciding if the main guitar should be an electric or an acoustic, as you can tell when you listen I settled on an acoustic. Lyrically this song is all about keeping going when things are tough, not letting your current circumstances define you and keep you eyes on what is in front of you."

"Out Upon The Ocean":
"This is the first song I wrote for this album and it was the chorus line that came to me first. I am often inspired by the sea and I liked the idea of using a lighthouse for inspiration so its a fictional narrative but one i hope many people can relate to."

"For The Souls Of My Brothers":
"This song is inspired by the fact my Great Grandad was a fireman in my home city of Coventry during World War 2. One evening he was late home from his job and his family persuaded him to stay for dinner with them. This meant he was late for his fire crew shift and missed going out with them that night. Sadly his crew never returned that night and so this is the story of those feelings."

"All The Details":
"I co-wrote this song with my friend Jess Morgan, a wonderful singer songwriter from Norwich. We had wanted to write together for a while and so one Saturday morning we calved out some time in our diaries and came up with this song. It’s all about trying to find happiness in the small things in life. I love the feel of this song. Tim and John really influenced this at the final stage of recording by setting an almost Motown feel to it."

"Find Your Gold":
"This was one of those songs that was a real battle to finish and changed quite a lot from how it originally started. It’s written in DADGAD tuning and I was listening to a lot of John Paul White’s music when I was recording the guitar parts. Lyrically its all about battling with hard times and sad thoughts and finding your ‘gold’ in family and moving on."

"Keep You":
"This song is about reading Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis to my daughter and wanting to keep her at that point in her life. It’s a fairly reflective song. Musically I was really looking to keep the song as stripped back as I could so the end section really built to a big ending. To me I can hear a little bit of Elbow influence on this, maybe that's just me?"

"Ride This Storm":
"This is one of those songs that just fell out of me! I wrote the lyrics in one sitting and hardly edited them at all which is pretty unusual. It’s inspired by a story from the Bible which isn’t something I write directly from very often but my faith is a very important part of my life. Quite a few people have referenced Paul Simon in the overall sound and I am very happy with that!"

"Open The Door":
"This is actually a completely reworked version of one of my very first Stylusboy songs. This version came out of the jamming during the rehearsals for my first album and I really liked how it sounded so I was keen to explore it in a new way. It is completely recorded in my home studio where I have built up the layers of guitars. I love the way Holly has sang this with me."

"Shelter In The Light":
"Here is another one inspired by my Grandad. He use to go out on his Dad’s coal truck and so this is me imagining what that might have been like. The phrase ‘shelter in the light’ is about the fact they use to have a lantern on the coal truck. It is one of the only songs on the album with only electric guitars on it and I really like the end section that builds and allows Tim and John to really help the song ‘RAWK’ (in a folk rock kind of way!)."

"This Is Where I Belong":
"This was the last song I wrote for the album and I always wanted it to be the closing track. I’d had the chorus section for quite a while but the verses took a little longer to complete. It is very simply recorded with just acoustic guitar and my voice."

"For me the writing and recording is always just part of releasing my music.
I love creating the artwork and my fine art background comes out at this point. I worked with Paula Oakley, a wonderfully skilled illustrator, to create the artwork for Routes.

The print on the CD is from an map of Coventry (my home city) which I felt was appropriate as so many of the songs have been written at home or influenced by Coventry.
Finally I love make my CD sleeves by hand so when you buy a copy not only do you get my songs you get the CD hand made by myself."

Watch the music video for "Out Upon The Ocean" right here:

- buy and/or stream "Routes" here -

Stylusboy online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Spotify | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Words (intro): Vanessa Jetwash | Images & Words (about album): Stylusboy


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